I got woken up this morning with a sharp pain and ache across my pelvis. As I started to move out of bed the sensation spread to my lower back, making it hard to stand up straight. I looked down and my tum was 7 months pregnant and I knew I was going to have a bad adeno day. The build up to my period this weekend.
Adenomyosis is the overlooked sister of Endometriosis. It is a form of endo as it is trapped endo tissue in the muscle of the uterus but you can have adeno with out having endo and vice versa. Some women who have endo don’t realise that they have adeno too. Some symptoms they relate to endo is actually adeno.
What is it?
Adenomyosis is when the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus. It makes the muscle grow thicker and inflamed. Adenomyosis can cause menstrual cramps, lower abdominal pressure, and bloating before menstrual periods and can result in heavy periods. The condition can be located throughout the entire uterus or localized in one spot.
- Prolonged menstrual cramps – It can create intense pain and pressure, like the last stages of labour.
- Spotting between periods.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Large Clots – recently during my period I had clots the size of my palm followed by a gush of blood.
- Longer menstrual cycles than normal – Your period can last between 7- 14 days.
- Severe nausea – due to the pain and the pressure of the inflamed uterus pressing against your stomach.
- Pain during sex and spotting afterwards.
- Tenderness in the abdominal area – it can becomes sensitive just to rub your pelvic area.
- Pain shooting down one or both legs.
- Severe Migraines – hormonal migraines before and during your period.
- Lower back ache – the pressure from the uterus on the spine and nerves.
- Changeable bowl behaviour.
- Bladder issues.
- Extreme fatigue
- On rare occasions it can result in heavy bleeding during labour – this happened to me.
There is a cross over from endo and adeno symptoms, sometimes when you have both, you can’t tell when one or the other is kicking off, or one kicks the other off.
The difference between Endometriosis and Adenomyosis
The main difference is endometrium tissue only grows in the muscle of the uterus for adenomyosis. For endometriosis, the endometrium tissues grows outside the uterus and across the pelvic area. Endo does not grow in the uterus muscle.
A misleading fact is that Endo doesn’t always cause heavy bleeding but adeno does.
And is Endo belly actually Adeno Belly?
Medications; Progesterone only IUD, injection and implant can have an effect to reduce symptoms, much like endo.
Pain treatment; TENS machine, strong pain killers, heat pads, hot water bottles and baths. Again, much like endo pain treatments.
But the major difference is the surgical side. For Endometriosis, you can get surgical burning away of the growths and removal of adhesions. For Adenomyosis, a hysterectomy is the only radical surgical treatment.
On trying to research this condition, I didn’t find much. A lot of websites blur the lines between endo and adeno. But they are different conditions. Yes, like myself, you can have both and therefore within myself the lines are blurred between pain and symptoms. But a lot of women who have adeno do not have endo. And I find they are over looked by endo.
I am guilty of that myself, I shout out against my endo, my pain must be endo but really it is both and I should bring awareness to both. How can we expect more information, research and better treatment if we don’t ask for it. I got diagnosed on a pelvis examination when I was speaking to them about my endo. The Gynae just said it like an off hand remark, yes you have adeno too. I was told I had endometrium tissue in my uterus, then he carried on and made it a blanket treatment. I treated it the same.
It wasn’t until my pregnancy, I began researching adenomyosis. I needed to know the impact the two conditions would have on my pregnancy. I discovered on rare occasions that adenomyosis can result in heavy alarming bleeding during labour and to play it safe, you should have a C-section to control the situation. I brought this up to my consultant and they dismissed it straight away and said I wouldn’t want a C-section as it might make my endo worse in the long run, which is true. But it did happen, in total I lost 2/3 pints of blood and Mina’s vitals dropped and became distressed. I ended up having an emergency C-section. So why didn’t they listen to me in the first place?
After writing this blog post, I vow to myself to bring more awareness to adenomyosis as it is just as painful, alarming, misunderstood and debilitating on a woman’s life as endo.
Check out this great website for even more info: Adenomyosis Advice Association website
Lets bring awareness, who’s with me?
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